Stoops says off-week comes at the perfect time

Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops talked about his Sooners' emotional win over Oregon and other football related topics during his weekly press conference Tuesday in Norman. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)

Below are excerpts from Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference with the media Tuesday in Norman.

On Oregon
"Really proud of the efforts of the players to have put together another solid victory winning 31-7 here at home. It's fair to say that coming into the game, I think all that we had gone through the week before had a little bit of distraction. The guys maybe didn't have all the excitement that we normally have going into the game, yet they were still very business-like in their approach and really executed in an excellent way.

"Offensively, was very pleased how we played for four quarters and finished running the ball. Our third down conversion rate was excellent. Jason White was just incredibly efficient in his third downs and some of the great throws he made in those situations. Mark Clayton, breaking another record here. He also made a lot of big third down plays. Adrian Peterson running the football and creating big plays was really exciting to see his progress. And happy with the o-line. I thought it really was strong throughout four quarters. Vince Carter had an excellent day and was recognized along with Jason White, Mark Clayton, Adrian Peterson and J.D. Runnels, as far as players of the game.

"Defensively, very solid as well to hold them to seven points and shut them out in the first half. What's encouraging there is a couple of guys singled out as players of the game are new guys. Larry Birdine again, cited for defensive player of the game with Clint Ingram, who had significant time for the first time. Clint was really strong and was also special teams player of the game with Trey DiCarlo and Russell Dennison. So, some new names that are still showing up and making big plays. All in all, it was a solid victory."

On the off-week
"Good to have our non-schedule to be 3-0. Perfect time for an off-week. We'll use this time to go back through and try and polish up areas of our game we feel we can be better at. We'll try and improve there and we'll get some future opponents and schemes that we'll be seeing here in the next few weeks."

On several younger players making impacts so far this season
"It's been encouraging. I think Larry Birdine has been singled out each week with somebody else, as far as player of the game. Clint (Ingram) came on and really had and excellent game the other night. Offensively, some young guys have been stepping up. Adrian and some of the big plays he's created have really given us a boost. Hopefully, there will be more as we go."

On Clint Ingram's resulting from the fact that he got to play against Oregon's more conventional offense
"Yes. That's fair to say. They were a little more conventional, so we were able to get him on the field more. He did an excellent job with it and hopefully he'll improve from it."

On who will replace Calvin Thiobdeaux as the fourth defensive end
"We'll see. Alonzo Dotson and John Williams are a couple young guys who have been improving and working. I'm sure Coach Wright will start to get them some more time and see how it goes."

On Kejuan Jones' ankle injury against Oregon
"That's a different injury. He was more bruised and kicked in the shin the last one. So, this is a completely different deal. We'll see how it progresses. It's one of those you just have to wait and see."

On the heat being a factor against Oregon
"You'd have to ask them. I felt good about where we were. Our guys really hung in there well. We didn't experience any cramping or any problems. I thought we handled it really in a good way."

On how the secondary played against Oregon
"Pretty good. We had a few plays we would've like to have played a little better. But, for the most part, they were pretty solid."

On OU's success converting on third downs
"More success running the ball has helped. And then you look at Jason's efficiency, his accuracy, are big factors. Coach Long deserves a lot of credit too in finding plays that we're able to execute and convert on."

On Donta Hickson's play against Oregon
"It was exciting. We appreciate Donta in a big way, and I told him that in front of the whole team. His touchdown run starts to separate us. It was 10-0 still and he gets it to 17-0, and that's a big play in the game. Donta continues to contribute, and will. He's a strong player and we'll keep working his role and see where it goes."

On if there's any way to change the defensive scheme to accomodate OU's three-man defensive tackle rotation
"Not really. There are no magical defenses, regardless of sometimes you guys like to say there is. The bottom line is it gets down to taking on blocks, getting off of them and tackling people and making plays when you get the opportunity. There isn't any way to hide anybody out there, and I don't feel we need to. I think those guys are all more than capable of being solid and good for us and can win for us."

On having to only play three defensive tackles against Oregon being a credit to the strength program
"I would say Jerry Schmidt and our staff do an incredible job preparing these guys for the year and for a hot game like that. And also the player, those guys who put forth the effort and are doing it have got themselves in that kind of shape. They handled it well."

On how much closer the other defensive tackles are to geting into the rotation
"We'll see. They're coming along. It's just something that will be evaluated as we go."

On having an extra week to get the position situated
"It doesn't matter. We're going to play when they tell us to play, and we'll have two in there when we have to."

On the luxury of having several young players behind Kejuan Jones
"The young guys behind him awfully talented. They're ready and they've proven when they've had their opportunity that they can make plays. So yeah, we're fortunate that we've got a few guys that are capable of complimenting one another. And when they're in there they've been making plays. It's a big boost."

On if he's surprised his backup running backs are from the freshman class
"No, because we felt in recruiting them a year ago that they were awfully talented, they were physically capable. I can't say that I'm real surprised. We thought they would contribute, and they are. And they're doing it in a strong way."

On the offensive line blocking well despite playing several reserves
"I thought Chris Bush had an excellent day. Coach Wilson looks at him as a starter. Chris is playing really well and can play about any position out there. He's a strong player for us. Chris Messner got in there and did a nice job. I'm sure he'll learn and improve from it. Those guys did come in really play well."

On James Moses
"Bubba is playing very well. He had another very good game against Oregon. Really like what Bubba's doing. He's really come on and been a big plus for us."

On if he's concerned about not having any interceptions through three games
"It would if we had lost. I'm kind of a guy of the law of averages. We're bound to get a bunch of them. Who knows, maybe next time against Tech. We're due. I feel like we've played pretty well. They'll come."

On Jason White spreading the passes among the receivers
"I think it's important that we spread the field and make people defend everyone. Jason goes through his reads and isn't choosing on who it is as long as we pick up first downs, move the ball and score. Those guys all understand that. It's just spacing the field and delivering the ball where you see the hole. That's what we've always tried to do."

On if the staff will watch other games this Saturday
"I imagine. We'll get our share of work done and eventually sit down and watch some games."

On Texas Tech scoring 70 points on TCU
"I've seen it before, as you have too. It's not at all surprising. That's their style and they're good at it. We've seen it here and I've seen it there."

On if he'd be in favor of instant replay
"Yeah. I think it'd be OK. Hopefully they wouldn't take five minutes to make a decision."

On if the college coaches should have a red flag to challenge a call to be replayed like in the NFL "No, I think somebody up there (press box) could just say, 'Hey look, that's close enough to look at.'"

On Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti saying that he was playing with Stoops' mind when he ran players on and off the field before a punt at the end of the half
"It didn't amount to a whole lot. They thought it was cute, I thought it was just a big waste of time. It resulted in not a whole lot for them. So..."

On Bellotti's strategy in the punt situation forcing OU to use a timeout they might have used late in the half
"With 20 seconds on our own 10-yard line? No, we're taking a knee. A minute and a half? Maybe. Twenty seconds or whatever it was, was very insignificant."

On the rule that allowed Oregon to substitute the punt team after the offense had already came to the line of scrimmage
"The officials are very emphatic that substitution in the form of deception is not tolerated. The official is to stand over the ball and not allow them to snap it until the defense has time to match it. First of all, their entire line was down in three-point stances and they left the field. When you're in a three-point stance, as I understand, you're not allowed to move. And they did. Again, I'm not blaming officials. I didn't trust that they were going to hold the ball until we substituted, and I didn't want to get a penalty that would've given them a first down, so I called a timeout.

"I should've trusted the official that he was going to stand over the ball because they're very emphatic that they're going to stand over the ball and not allow them to snap it until you match up. I just didn't trust it and called a timeout since we had one. And again, there was only 23 seconds (remaining). It didn't much matter. We should've just left our defense out there and fair caught it. We got a little greedy trying to get 'Perk' another chance for a return, and they were going to try and kick it out of bounds anyway."

On the chemistry between Brent Venables and Bo Pelini compared to Brent and Mike Stoops
"You guys are just filling up paper space, that's all. It's been wonderful. It's been perfect. It's been just how it was with Mike and Brent. Again, I mean that in a decent way. You guys have to write about something, so you do. But it's been wonderful. They are guys that are very smart and work together very professionally. They want to succeed and want what's best for the players. And that's what we're always working for. Egos aren't a factor."

On Brent Venables taking more of a vocal role with the defense
"He always has, Bo does too. So does Bobby Jack Wright and Jackie Shipp. You ought to hear it. It's hard to get a word in. Sometimes they don't let me say anything. They all have their times."

On if he watched the end of the Arizona game
"Not really. I was finishing up our game and kind of peaked at the end and couldn't watch it. So, I kept myself in the shower a little longer."

On if Mike calls him for advice
"No. Mike doesn't need any advice."

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